Top Ten Ways to Get Rid of Your Farrier

Top Ten Ways to Get Rid of Your Farrier

  1. Have your horse shod once a year, then complain to everyone you know ‘the shoes just fell off!’
  2. Do not handle your horses feet at all. Especially the young ones.
  3. Make sure your horses are loose in the pasture when the farrier arrives. The larger the pasture, the better.
  4. Read horse magazines so that you can instruct your farrier on the latest shoeing techniques.
  5. Fill the shoeing area with as many obstructions as possible. Dogs and children count extra.
  6. Be sure and feed the other horses while the farrier is working.
  7. Lead the horses through mud before bringing them to be trimmed or shod.
  8. Don’t clean your stalls and don’t use fly spray.
  9. Complain about the bill shortly after pointing out and discussing the huge price of your new truck, daughter’s horse, boat, etc.
  10. Always wait until the last minute to schedule your appointments, insist that the farrier come right away. Then, avoid paying the bill as long as possible.

How many of these are you guilty of? Have any you could add?

How many of these are you guilty of?

How many of these are you guilty of?


  1. hooflady on December 14, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Here’s more not to say: “we can never get farriers to come back a second time” and “this horse has kicked every farrier that we’ve ever had” while I’m trimming the hinds… and “that looks easy, can you teach me?” As a trimmer I really appreciate the horse caught, dirt brushed off, fly spray applied and hoofs picked out before I get there. Tips when the horse is fidgety, a cool drink and by all means, give them some hay if they are fidgety, but not on the ground!!! I will go out of my way for clients who are appreciative!

  2. Charlie Orrison on October 26, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I can add one…..I found a note once on a FORMER clients door saying “I had another commitment today and couldn’t be here for the appointment… can just tie the horse to a post and he will be perfectly fine for you to shoe, I will mail you the check for your work.” Mind you I had never shod the horse before, never met the client before (she was a referral from a regular). Funny but true story.

  3. David Kelly on September 22, 2014 at 7:09 am

    Very good I will have to get my farrier the T-shirt

  4. Loren Schumacher on September 21, 2014 at 8:56 am

    These things may drive the farrier away, if you can get them to show up!

  5. judy on September 20, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    None of the above. In fact they pick up their feet for him. I have always treated my farriers with great respect, but sometimes you just get a real “Dud”. Recently, one trimmed my older mare and put shoes and pads on her front feet. (navicular). When it was time for a trim (6-8 weeks) I could not get a return call, finally she called and said she would be out in 2 days, That came and went and the process started all over, no returned calls etc. Next thing I know shes at 14 weeks with shoes and pads on. She came out and used the old shoes and other materials, put in 2 hot nails, and wondered why I was so mad. The mare in question now has a bad case of thrush, and will probably end up with an abscess. Have a new one now, and he knows how to treat the horses and his clients. So this is not just about the farriers, but about the horses.

  6. Dan on September 20, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Wash your horses’ feet and legs every time, preferrably just before e arrives. I would rather deal with mud than wet slippery legs

  7. Jim House on September 20, 2014 at 12:27 am

    My farrier is the best. He bends over backwards for his clients. I make sure to try and make his life as easy as possible when he is here.
    I once had a shoe get pulled off in the mud 2 weeks after it was put on. He drove forty miles out of his way going home to replace it at 9pm and then drive another 2 hours to get home. The best.

  8. Danvers Child on September 19, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Good on you for posting this! We all appreciate our customers, and it’s always a bonus when they’re thoughtful and appreciative of our work!

  9. TotallyPeeved on September 19, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Not one. However, I have had numerous farriers not bother to show up or call. And rush through the work because their back hurt or whatever.

  10. Ron Nelson on September 19, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Our horses are all quiet,caught and ready when and if he shows up! At my figuring he makes about $160.00 an hour to trim two horses. Pretty good wages and then have most of the ten complaints during and when he is done.
    Had a German horseshoer living this summer, he went to school for two years and then apprenticed for two years, man what a difference to bad his girl friend took him back to Germany! We have way to many prima donnas playing with our horses feet instead of real shoers

  11. firnhyde on September 19, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    One evening, I let my horses all run through the mud. Not splishy-splashy sandy mud, you understand. Knee-deep, sticky, pitch-black, cow-manure mud, and they were caked in the stuff. My farrier arrived as I was dragging them back out of this horrifying goo, saying that he only had thirty minutes today because he had a date in under an hour…
    Afterwards, I suggested he washed his hands, pants, shirt, arms, etc. in the water trough. He was not impressed.
    Lesson learned.

  12. Karen on September 19, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    My husband is a farrier and he has one that he would like to add:
    Is that my horses blood?

    No it’s mine

    Thank goodness

  13. Sarah on September 19, 2014 at 11:54 am

    As a farrier myself, I can’t help but chuckle at most of these! Thanks for sharing with us. 🙂

  14. patnewmex on September 19, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Not one. My horses are in the corral when he comes, someone is there to catch each one and hold it while it is shod. If necessary we spray for flies, and I usually throw down a small (or half) a flake for the one being shod. I ask questions to be educated, and I do what my farrier advises.

  15. Roseann Tode on September 19, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Not guilty of any except, doing it the night before a show……..LOL…do it myself so I can’t complain.

  16. Jodi on September 19, 2014 at 7:58 am

    I also work hard to make my farrier happy. I groom my horse, clean his feet, and have him in cross ties when the farrier arrives. My horse has been properly trained to behave. I have the farrier’s check ready, as well.

    A different farrier lost my business due to never showing up, not showing up on the scheduled day, not showing up on time even when he said he was on his way… it got old and my horse’s feet were changing due to the irregular schedule.

    My new one was chosen by asking around, and picking one that was touted as being both reliable AND good.

    Because I treat my farrier well, he’s willing to come out on a Saturday for me, usually doesn’t work on weekends.

  17. Dana Golladay on September 19, 2014 at 7:33 am

    Haha! As I married my farrier I can say all these are true… But I can also add calling your farrier at all hours of the day and on the weekend. You can’t get your mechanic on Sunday so why bother your farrier? He has a life too!!!!

  18. Terry Boyles on September 19, 2014 at 7:20 am

    I need one of these Shirts for our Farrier . LOL

  19. Albert z on September 19, 2014 at 7:01 am

    My all time favorite would be shoe all your own except for the worst one and say “he’s nevere been like this before.”

  20. Jjaks on September 19, 2014 at 7:01 am

    Just some ways more:
    11. Asking to remedy the gap that developed in my mare’s front hoof after the farrier has worked about a year at her feet.
    12. Telling the same farrier I would like to work on my yearling by myself, because after using glued-on orthopedic shoes für three months, he ignored the inside-dropping inner wall completely for the next three months.
    13. (the next one) Asking not to hurt my mare by holding her hindleg so high she couldn’t stand no more, whether with her leg up nor left down on the ground – it took about five minutes before I could get her to give her leg again.
    14. (the next) Having to take a free day every time the farrier is scheduled, because free spots are only to be had about after lunch, and he never works after 17:00h. Yes, my boss likes that very much.
    15. Two weeks before the futurity the farrier glued orthopedic shoes on, and managed to get glue on the horse’s coat about half a yard on the side of her rump. Looked like he hit her with the glue-pistol. Of course it was about midday, I had to work, and when I saw the “beauty-spot” in the evening the glue was hard. I had to shear her, great performance that was.

    No sorry, short of shoeing and abcesses I do everything my horses need by myself, and use renegade hoof boots to ride. Congratulations to everyone who has not to make such experiences; the only farrier who I could recommend lives about 450 miles away and can’t work on my horses regularly because of that.

    Please excuse my bad english, I’m from Germany 😉

  21. E.J on September 19, 2014 at 5:27 am

    Not a single one of these. I respect my farrier and the work that they do. They didn’t have to come and risk getting their head kicked in, They chose to have me as a client, much the same way I chose to have them trim my horses.

  22. Lissa Haun on September 19, 2014 at 2:01 am

    I use the guys at – Steve Sermersheim is one of the best in the world! {heck, Stacy you may have even seen him or had him working on your horses at one point – he is at Rolex, the WEG, etc} because of this, sometimes he can be hard to get ahold of {if he is out of the country or at a top event} but he is THE best – and when a horse is on the road to recovery after a serious injury, Steve always personally comes out to do my horses!

    • Danvers Child on September 19, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      I second your recommendation! I work with Steve at Rolex and other events, and I can’t think of anyone better to provide hoof care for your horses…. great guy and a great farrier.

  23. Tracy Schamel on September 19, 2014 at 1:10 am

    My trainers husband is my farrier now, and he is amazing. He is fair priced, does what the horse NEEDS (not what is popular, what someone THINKS they need, etc.) even at his own loss. I would have gladly paid him to do whatever my grey mare needed, he looked at her feet, rubbed her ears, and said she didn’t need a thing that she was born to be barefoot and maintained herself perfectly (she’s got amazing feet and never once has she even gotten sore) My old farrier used to be the same way: Do it RIGHT. PERIOD. was his motto. My uncle had two horses that had issues getting shoes and he refused to rush. He took them to his place for 2 days, and now they are relaxed as could be about their feet.

    One thing that amazed me before I found those two was how many farriers would flat out REFUSE to work on an Arabian’s feet. No matter how well-behaved the horse was. The minute they heard the breed they would refuse. Those people have no business working with animals.

  24. Bonnie Erickson on September 18, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    These are hilarious. I have a great farrier and I adore his professionalism, his hard work ethic and his personal stories. I cracked up at the ‘never handle your horse’s feet, especially the young ones’ because I have two round up babies on site now and they were so touchy last time he was here (first trim) and I have been diligent to handle their feet daily, pick them, tap on them with the hoof pick and set them down gently that I’m waiting for a ‘gold star’ from my farrier 🙂
    It’s such an important relationship in horse care that I am absolutely hardcore about one philosophy:
    If anything feels ‘off’ with a farrier and you are uncomfortable, do more research and find a better one. Ask for recommendations of people who have horses that are sound and happy and stick with them when you find the right one!
    I agree, goodies are always a nice bonus. Bottles of water on hand, snacks and small tokens of appreciation or a good tip!

  25. Diana on September 18, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    I can honestly say I have never done any of those things. I really appreciate my farrier. I even tip him from time to time. He is good to us and takes excellent care of our horses.

  26. Roper Wilkinson on September 18, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Main thing I do is take my dog to the barn but she knows to stay out of the way. Shaun is awesome!!! He’s the best farrier I have ever had!!! He is reasonably price, almost always on time and let’s you know if he’s running late, I always pay him the day he comes out, he’s honest, great with the horses, extremely helpful on explaining something or giving a training tip or two and I can go on and on for hours about how amazing he is!! So if you need a farrier in north Texas let me know! Cause they don’t get much better than Shaun!!

  27. Linda Goguen on September 18, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    I have the greatest farrier, she’s been trimming for me for 7 years wouldn’t trade her for the world.

  28. Sarah on September 18, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    We must be the luckiest – our Farrier lives a good 2 hours away, he’s always on time even at 8.30 last week. He is always asking to how everything is, did the horses ride much and what is the plan for winter. He has even taught my husband the basics for barefoot trimming, like he said – you never know what can happen in the trail.
    He drives this tiny car, with a tiny trailer with everything he needs! Propane oven and all!
    The other guys I have seen is Big Pick up and Big attitude like lots here mentioned.
    So if any of you are in Quebec, CA let me know;o) I know a good one.

  29. Donna on September 18, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Stacy I have been blessed with the same farrier for more than 20 years! Some of our horses have never had anyone else trim their feet. He takes the time to explain what he is doing, if I ask, without dummying it down! I always pay him when he is finished, and book the next trim right then and there, and he never misses a date, if he can’t make it he reschedules as soon as he knows he can’t be there on the book day. If I am late, the horses know him so well that he can go out and catch one bring it home…the others follow him into the barnyard, he closes the gate behind them and he starts trimming! He is a rare and true gem…I dread the day he retires.

  30. Susan J. on September 18, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    My farrier is amazing. I always read these lists just in case I am inadvertently doing something she would rather I not do. She explains what’s going on with my horses’ feet and why she chooses the trim for each. We discuss options depending on the work each horse will do. She calls if she will be more than 15 minutes late. She educates herself on horse anatomy and current developments in horse hoof health.

    One thing I try to do is catch up the horses and exercise them some before their trim. It seems to help the older horse stand and lift his legs if the muscles are warmed up. The younger horses are not as fresh and stand better. For mine, not doing this would be on the bad-things-to-do list.

  31. Suzanne Rowe on September 18, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    I have not done those things, at least as an adult. Perhaps as a kid with a herd of horses (to include mares, foals, stallions and young horses) to manage and not much adult supervision or help. The problem I run in to is 10 reasons to find a new farrier. 1. 9 out of 10 times late. 2. Just doesn’t show up on scheduled date even when made 6 to 10 weeks in advance. 3. Doesn’t return calls.4. Never charges the same amount twice (usually more than less). 5. Brings their dogs knowing I raise working stock dogs that are very protective of the property. 6. Lets their dogs out of the truck and they chase my chickens. 7. Brings their kids (well behaved fine, hellions not good). 8. Yell at my helpers for being green at holding for a farrier. 9. Increasing charges just because in the big city people will/can afford twice what is reasonable to pay. And the worst thing 10. Tune on one of the old horses with sore joints/arthritis for putting a foot down when they thought they should.

  32. cjb on September 18, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    My $0.02 – Rebecca’s comment speaks directly to the Farrier comment # 2 – An Owner should be handling their horses feet and trimming hooves while watching closely for changes. If they are not, they are doing their horse a disservice.
    A halfway respectable human being (farrier’s included) will treat you with respect on their topic of expertise if you treat them with respect and demonstrate knowledge of the subject. What better way to do that than by trimming your own horses hooves and watching for problems?

  33. cjb on September 18, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Rebecca my $0.02. Your point is very much the same as the Farrier point #2 – Owners SHOULD know their horses feet & hooves and they SHOULD handle their feet and trim. Don’t just leave it all to a 1x a year visit. Lots can go wrong in 1 short year.
    A good farrier will talk to you intelligently about your horses feet and will treat you as if you know something if you can talk intelligently about your horses feet and you demonstrate that you trim and know something about the topic.

  34. Elizabeth W. on September 18, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    To note. I always tried to schedule the next appointment when they came out to see the horses, and I never demand for them to come out. I know they can be busy and might not be in town for a bit.

  35. Rebecca on September 18, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    These farrier post things really bug me…. because somewhere in there is that one or two that try to insidiously convince owners they know nothing about what their horses feet need, discussion is not welcome, and the client better pay the bill and be quiet.
    I’m not sorry, that just doesn’t work for me.
    I got so fed up with the farrier “I know so much more than you, and I’m only going to give you the dumbed down barely plausible answers because that’s easiest for me.” that I started learning to trim myself from a top barefoot trimmer. The things I’m learning actually make sense to people like me who really think things through and consider them.
    Nope, your horses feet are not “just that way, maybe it’s genetic”… hooves are changeable. The answer is, you are paying good money for somebody to mess them up and make you feel stupid in the process!

    Don’t mind me… I’m just disgruntled that with hardly any training and trimming myself, my horses feet are looking so much better, but it’s going to take me more time than I would like to fix what a dozen highly recommended snotty farriers couldn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t want to do right.

    In one of the early Jac episodes, he came up lame mysteriously… just my opinion, but his hooves looked in a state of farrier craziness. I’ve been learning just how many parts of the horse can be affected by hooves, improved with more healthy hooves. How many less tendon/ligament/ect injuries there would be if “top farriers” knew what a healthy hoof looks like!

    Watching the farrier in that episode was just painful. I used the pause button to freeze frame when the farrier had his hoof up (btw he looked in an awful hurry to swipe around with his knife before showing the hoof to the cammera and he sure wasn’t holding it up there that long!) … Jacs bars were super long! Enough to get impacted despite shoeing. They just happened to be what the farrier was swiping at in a hurry. Bar impaction can be very painful for the horse, and cause deep digital flexor tendon injuries…. abcesses…. and more contraction than is already caused by shoes.

    We love you Stacy. Please get a better farrier. Learn yourself… make your hubby (that would sure help on the road). It’s not your fault… it’s just what they do to convince people….. oooooo they went to farrier school….. oooooo they have a name for themselves….. ooooooo they are so popular. is where I’m learning about healthy feet. The trimmer instructor looks at your hoof photos, tells you what’s wrong, and tells you how to fix it. Big improvement in my horsies feet! Someday he’ll be doing sliding stops barefoot…. I just plan to get him to grow 3/4 inch of sole first for protection for that… and following HHO I believe that will happen.
    Maybe you can’t go barefoot in the “on” season… okay I get that… but you could get a shoeing farrier that doesn’t leave the walls and bars so long it causes damage and you never know why.

    Off my soapbox, I couldn’t hold it in….. you are always awesome & God loves you so much!

    • Tarum on September 18, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      100% agree with you. I am a trimmer that WANTS owners to be as involved as possible and understand everything I do for their horse and why.

    • David on September 21, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      Please do not attempt trimming your horses without proper education(preferably a degree AND apprentice) this in reply to Rebecca. I understand there are a lot of bad farriers out there but I have heard of people like you way to many times and then after usually 6 months to a year all of their horses end up lame because of lack of education. Take the time to find a good farrier take care of him/her understand they work with PEOPLE and horses so they have a hard time staying on schedule. PS natural trims have their place but doesn’t work for all horses.

    • Karen West on December 7, 2014 at 7:58 am

      Rebecca, I agree 100% with you, my quarter horse was screwed up so badly by a farrier he actually fell with me riding him. I owned this horse since he was born and never had problems with him until he was older and I changed the blacksmith only because I moved.

  36. Elizabeth W. on September 18, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    not one of these. I trust the farrier knows his craft. I just have problems with them coming out regularly. To be honest the last one was so bad I still do not believe he knows i had another farrier to look after the horses. I waited two months, came home (my parents watch my horses), called him three times he said he would come out friday. I waited another week, and then found a new farrier. I had the similar problem with my first farrier. I really don’t understand what was so hard? They got paid in cash for the most part, or had a credit card on file just in case. Horses stood still and never kicked or moved. they come right to you if they are in a pen.

    How do you find your farriers?

  37. Jo Bianchi on September 18, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Where can I get the T shirt? My son is a farrier and I believe he could add to that already impressive list. People are unbelievable in what they expect from the farrier and the less they get the shod the more they expect.

  38. Susan on September 18, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    I could add one: (guilty when I was a very young horsewoman)… Paint your horse’s hooves with Hoof Flex before the farrier comes!

  39. Niki Ketrenos on September 18, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Not a one. Know he is always early so horses are waiting early. Rarely change the date from the one set at the last trim… and we try to arrange so he can do our 4 horses and the neighbors at the same time. He won’t do a horse that isn’t good with their feet although he has to go slow and easier with my 35 year old mare as she is feeling her age… she is not mean just has trouble with her joints now… but since he has done her for years he is understanding of her age.

  40. cqtipy on September 18, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Not a one! As a matter of fact my favorite farrier, who had to quit due to health reasons, was often treated to a big lunch complete with homemade baked goods. My current farrier often leaves with fresh bread and jam for his family. I want them to be good to my ponies.

    • Anne-Marie Kayne on September 18, 2014 at 11:25 pm

      I am a star client 😀

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